Mississippi man arrested in 1996 Columbus homicide case

COLUMBUS, Mississippi (WJTV) – A Mississippi man is facing charges in a 1996 murder after DNA evidence connected him to the crime.

The Columbus Police Department held a press conference on Thursday, May 25, 2017 to connect the dots on what led to the arrest of David Murray, who became a suspect in the case on May 16, 2017 when DNA evidence linked him to the scene of Mack Fowler’s 1996 murder.

Investigators believe Murray was invited inside Fowler’s home that night, but they believe there was a robbery.  Evidence was collected at the victim’s home more than two decades ago.  Last October Murray was arrested by Jackson Police after allegedly hitting a man with a coffee mug.  Those charges were later dropped but Murray’s DNA was run through the combined DNA index system.  Columbus Police Department Crime Lab Director Austin Shepherd explains, “There were some possibilities for retesting.  So, I worked with the Mississippi State Crime Lab.  We resubmitted several of those and were able to develop a really good DNA profile.”

Police would not say if Murray is a suspect int he other four unsolved homicides of elderly residents from the mid-1990’s in Columbus.

Murray’s case will be presented to the next grand jury.

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